Richard Dixon, Chief Financial Officer with the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA), was honored with the Brian T. McMahon Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in Community-Based Economic Development at the 2022 NYS Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) Awards Banquet, held May 24, at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, NY. The award was presented in recognition of a lifetime of service in the economic development field.
Dixon was recognized as an accomplished economic developer due to his track-record and extensive financial and operations management experience.
Ryan Silva, NYSEDC Executive Director said, “Rich prides himself as a results-oriented professional with expertise in labor relations, accounting, purchasing, staffing, and project management. He is a master facilitator of innovative programs integrating new technology, improving business processes, and evaluating employee performance. He also possesses significant leadership, managerial, motivational, analytical, conceptual, and applied problem solving skills.”
“Rich has served as a mentor, leader, and friend to countless economic developers across New York State, leaving a lasting mark on the NYSEDC members and the Chautauqua County Community,” said Silva.
Dixon began his tenure as Chief Financial Officer with the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA) in July of 2006. In that time, he played a major role in all economic development activities in Chautauqua County as a behind-the-scenes orchestrator of several high-impact deals that have had reoccurring impacts for the local economy.
“His leadership and dedication are directly related to the creation and retention of thousands of jobs and the investment of hundreds of millions of private dollars in Chautauqua County,” said Mark Geise, CCIDA CEO.
“In addition, his compassion and friendship are also unmatched and have created a culture of excellence within our organization,” added Geise.
CCIDA Board Chairman Mike Metzger echoed Geise, “Rich is the ultimate professional and his passion and dedication for our business community is equally matched by the community’s love for him and his easy-going personality.”
Geise and Metzger recalled several projects in which Rich’s facilitation of technical assistance and financial incentives helped companies save jobs, grow, and relocate in Chautauqua County.
“From achieving an A+ risk rating with our loan portfolio, to securing a $10.5 million EDA Grant, to developing our industrial parks, to saving companies like SKF and assisting those like Southern Tier Brewing and Maplevale Farms, Rich has proved effective at every turn,” said Geise.
After receiving the award, Dixon shared a story about the day he turned 16 years old. His dad picked him up from playing baseball, and instead of taking him for his drivers permit, they went to the high school to get his working papers. He explained, “The next day, I’m at Jamestown Metal Products where they made sheet metal cabinets for submarines, and for battle ships. You name it, they made it. I immediately fell in love with manufacturing. For the next six summers, I toiled away in Factories in Jamestown and that is where I got the bug.”